Reviewed by MJBrady on 19 Feb 2007
As an enthusiastic fusion fan, I have diligently followed the artists that have not only helped define the genre, but also have tried to stay on top of some of the hotter players on the modern scene as well, and while the golden era was where some of the very best was born, certainly some very impressive music has been developed by modern era musicians that were hugely inspired by the pioneers of jazz/rock. I have become a big fan of the band Planet X, and before them, drummer Virgil Donati released a most excellent fusion cd called On The Virg - Serious Young Insects, he featured some of Australia's premier music talent on that cd, I have always hoped that we would get another chance to hear an additional OTV cd, but with Donati now a full time PX member, well, it's just as good. 2006 was the year we anxiously expected to hear a new PX, but issues with the recording process have delayed it, yet, here I am listening to this band, also from Australia, The Collins/Wardingham Project, and I am astounded at what I am hearing, in fact, take all my commentaries about PX and OTV and simply add this disc right along next to them.
I have honestly never heard of either of Dave Collins the drummer or Paul Wardingham the gutiarist. Yet both are seriously skilled musicians that have taken the time to create a cd that offers up some of the finest modern fusion I have had the pleasure of hearing since, well, the last Planet X cd. Simply put, this cd is just that good, and these guys are equal to the task, both have world class chops, and prove that they can go beyond pure riff based music to create complexity and intricate music at the same level as both OTV or PX. There have been a lot of artists taking a try at mixing the elements of jazzrock and metal, and the results seem to favor the combining of skill level and composing, we have heard the LTE cds, OTV, PX, and other artists such as Counter World Experience, 7 for 4 both from Germany, all are great bands for this small genre, and while it's a small handful of bands that are able to do this music with the necessary ingredients, count The Collins/Wardingham Project as one that fits the company of these artists perfectly as a welcome addition.
Dave Collings is the bands drummer, he has that kind of inventive flare that feeds this music, able to utilize odd time signatures, mutated polyrhythms, and creative fills, this music requires a monster player to make it work, and he serves the role to perfection, no doubt he is a drummer who is on the verge of being discovered with his performance on this recording, no pun intended. Guitarist Paul Wardingham, originally from the UK, now residing in Australia, compliments Collins' drum talents with precision technique and a mastering of tones, modes and technical brilliance. Both these musicians will certainly make a solid impression on any fans of the artists mentioned in this review, and the sound of the band is not limited to guitar and drums, there is plenty of bass and keyboards, in fact, if you enjoyed the tonal elements that Derek Sherinian injects into his PX band, a similar keyboard vibe is ever present with The C/W Project.
No need to attempt to expound any further, this is first class stuff all the way, if you are in any way intrigued at the description of this band, make a believer of yourself by clicking the Myspace link and hearing for yourselves, better yet, purchase the cd while your at it, you will not be disappointed.